AR-News: (UK) Farmers Urged To Follow Sheep Dip Disposal Advice
WeArPetitions at aol.com
WeArPetitions at aol.com
Sun Oct 12 04:23:10 EDT 2003
THE Environment Agency is urging farmers and contractors to follow key
guidance and ensure they have an authorisation from the Agency to dispose of used
dip to land as the main sheep dipping period draws near.
Bob Merriman, Environment Agency Agriculture Policy Advisor says: "By
following this guidance and having a valid authorisation, farmers and contractors can
reduce both the risks to the environment and of any legal action arising if,
for example, water supplies became polluted."
A code of practice for the Use and Disposal of Sheep Dip Compounds was
published by the Defra in 2001. The code sets out good practice advice on how to
protect the environment when dipping or showering sheep. Key guidance includes
the siting of mobile dipping units to minimise pollution.
Key tips for farmers and contractors are: Before Dipping:
obtain an authorisation from the Environment Agency if you will need to
dispose of any used dip to land
make sure you have read and understood the relevant guidance in the Code.
make sure the dip bath does not have a drain hole - if it does permanently
check the bath does not leak- test by filling with water and leaving
overnight During and Immediately After Dipping
only use chemicals that are licensed for use in treating sheep ectoparasites.
Unlicenced chemicals may carry greater risks to the environment by washing
off sheep easily, which then leaves the sheep unprotected
keep the chemicals within an area that drains back into the dip bath
ensure all spillages during dipping operations are contained
ensure proper drain pens are in place and all drainage runs back into the dip
keep sheep in these drain pens until they have stopped dripping
keep sheep out of streams until their fleece is dry.
Special Precautions for mobile units Use of mobile units, whether for
dipping, showering, or spraying sheep, on farmyards can carry a high risk of
pollution, unless sheep dip chemicals are properly contained and cannot enter surface
water drains, ditches or soakaway areas.
Units can, however, be located in fields, providing the sites are first
checked to ensure they are level, have well established grass cover and are at
least 10 metres from any watercourse or 50 metres from any well, borehole or
spring. Further guidance is included within the Code of Practice.
Disposal of Used Dip Even if used dip is treated prior to disposal, it is
still very polluting and must be disposed of with great care by following the
conditions in the authorisation issued by the Environment Agency. These are not
onerous and reflect long-established guidance:
spread used sheep dip on to land at low application rates - not more than 5
cubic metres/ha if it is not diluted further, (for a typical dip, an area the
size of half a rugby field may be sufficient) or 20 cubic metres/ha if diluted
three-fold, using slurry or water, for disposal with a slurry vacuum tanker.
not spread on land that is water logged, steeply sloping, poorly drained, has
cracked soil, or which is important to wildlife, such as wildflower meadows.
not spread within 10 metres of any watercourse or 50m. of a well, borehole or
Bob Merriman continues: "The Agency is concerned that not all farmers with
used dip to dispose of to land have obtained written authorisation from the
Environment Agency. Under the Groundwater Regulations 1998 anyone disposing of
chemicals such as sheep dip to land must obtain a written authorisation from the
"Disposal to land of even very small quantities of dip, for example, from a
shower or jetting system is illegal without such an authorisation.
Authorisation packs can be obtained from local Agency offices and the application fee of
£104 allows disposal for four years from a single farm.
"If you haven't yet obtained an authorisation, please consider carefully the
consequences and potentially much greater costs to you if a stream or even a
groundwater supply was contaminated by your disposal. For example, the maximum
fine for causing pollution is £20,000."
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